Authorities say an Illinois sheriff's deputy fatally shot while trying to break up an armed robbery outside a family Christmas party was a 50-year-old officer who was off duty at the time.
The Cook County Sheriff's Office tells The Associated Press that 50-year-old Cuauhtemoc Estrada died Friday night. The shooting happened at a VFW hall in Bellwood, about 13 miles from downtown Chicago.
Estrada, a former Marine, was hosting a family holiday party at a Bellwood Veterans of Foreign Wars hall Friday evening when he stepped out into the parking around 7:30 p.m. Estrada saw two people in ski masks and hoodies trying to rob his daughter and her boyfriend at gunpoint as they carried food from a car, according to authorities and relatives.
Trying to stop the robbers, Estrada reached for his gun and was shot in the chest, said Andre Harvey, Bellwood's director of public safety.
Sheriff's officials released few details, except that the officer was shot when trying to intervene in the robbery outside the hall. They say Estrada is a former Marine who had been with the department for more than 20 years.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports the officer's body arrived at the Cook County medical examiner's office around midnight.
Bellwood police and the Cook County Sheriff's Office are investigating.
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